Rogue motorcyclists are risking lives – and police have pledged to crack down on them.

Residents of Upperby, in Carlisle, have reported a rise in anti-social behaviour caused by riders, with police determined to take action.

In a number of cases, these illegal riders are off-roading and there are fears that it will not be long before someone is killed or seriously injured.

Inspector Steve Minnikin, from Cumbria police, said: “The worry is the disregard for legal road users and people who are on the path or in the open spaces.

“These riders are dangerous and I dread to think what would happen if a child or a dog ran out in front of one of them.

“We want to engage and educate – but persistent offenders will feel the full force of the law.”

Hammonds Pond has been blighted with rogue riders and Stewart Young, county councillor for Upperby, said: “We’ve had a number of problems with young people in Hammonds Pond. The police have been very good, putting on extra patrols, but young people can be a bit boisterous and riding motorbikes in the park is unacceptable.

“Since lockdown there have been at lot more families in the park. It’s dangerous.

“I would urge people, if they know who these motorcyclists are, to report them to the police as it’s illegal and messes up the park.”

Copeland councillor Carl Walmsley said he is dealing with more complaints about nuisance motorcyclists than anything else. “We have a huge problem on the ward with off-road vehicles, especially motorbikes,” he said. “I’d say 75 per cent of all complaints to me recently are related to motorcycles.

“A small minority of people regard this kind of vehicle use as harmless fun. However, this regular antisocial vehicle use is having a wider impact on the community.”

Mr Walmsley said that while the impact on the neighbourhood is bad enough, he fears the worst. “The effect of dangerous or reckless use of a vehicle can lead to criminal damage of roads, fields and other vehicles and surrounding property,” he said, “but, more importantly, it could lead to serious injury or even worse for the individual or some poor bystander.

“I’ve had reports of near misses on our stretch of bike path with [bikes at] high speeds and doing tricks on our roads and in built-up areas. Like the majority of residents I have had enough, and I am willing to fully support and promote any police campaign and crackdown.”

Police are also concerned these illegal riders are a danger to themselves. Insp Minnikin added: “A lot of the time illegal riders are not wearing the correct safety gear and risk injury. Helmets are vital, even a low speed accident could prove life-changing.

“But we’re calling on the public to report these offenders for their anti social riding and the danger they pose.”